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Letter: Wayne Stenehjem is just like Hillary Clinton

By Staff | Mar 8, 2016

Like Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has been one of the key builders of North Dakota’s progressive movement. He has been apart of the biggest tax and spend, big-government administrations in the history of North Dakota. Over the last ten years, Stenehjem has been part of an administrative team that has increased state spending by more than 280 percent, leaving the state with a massive spending deficit this biennium. In addition, unfunded liabilities in the state’s public worker pensions have grown to over $680 million in 2015 while adding over 2,000 new workers.

Also like Hillary, he has a long history of scandals. For example, the Susan Bella case, where Stenehjem helped to fabricate a case against a Fargo woman, resulting in a wrongful conviction, her bankruptcy and seventeen months in prison. The higher court overturned her conviction and now the state owes her millions.

In another case in Forbes, Wayne’s employees confiscated a pay loader and then lost it. Somehow it ended up in Mexico. Wayne’s office was found in contempt of court and was ordered to pay some $58,000 dollars in damages.

How about the Dickinson State scandal? Six million dollars was paid for 600 Chinese students to be admitted and then receive fake diplomas without doing any of the coursework. No arrests, no investigation, no convictions. It just seemed to go away.

Then there was the case in February of 2015 where Wayne signed on to an amicus brief submitted in federal court siding with the Obama administration and other Democrats in supporting Obamacare! This after North Dakota had joined with states in challenging Obamacare in court.

How about the Fighting Sioux name and logo? Wayne’s office was given more than $1 million dollars to defend the name and logo. Mr. Stenehjem assured us that the State would prevail. Instead, he kept the money and rather than litigate, he settled with the NCAA giving up the name!

And there is much more. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has repeatedly reported that Wayne has implemented a “Sanctuary State” policy by denying their detainer requests. Instead of turning over illegal alien criminals to ICE, Wayne releases them into unsuspecting North Dakota communities.

Without any legal authority, Wayne has unilaterally declared land use restrictions on more than 1.4 million acres of private property through his ‘Extraordinary Places’ rules.

Now he is running for Governor of our great state. His appearances around the state are characteristically shallow, lacking vision and substance. I say this, not to disparage Mr. Stenehjem, but to make a significant point — a critically important point. Mr. Stenehjem never talks issues or how he will solve problems.

I’ve been to a half-dozen of Mr. Stenehjem’s speeches. He makes sure you know he’s been in elected office for more than 30 years. His family has lived in North Dakota for four generations; his wife makes some of the finest baked goods in the State and sometimes he brings them along for his audience to enjoy. What I haven’t heard is anything about what he sees as challenges facing our state, let alone how he will or would address them. The conclusion is simple: Mr. Stenehjem has no vision for North Dakota. Instead he says, “We are doing just great!” even though the state is not doing so great:

1. We are headed to a $1.8 billion deficit in the current biennium.

2. We’re saddled with $860 million dollars of unfunded pension liabilities.

3. We are spending $450 million dollars to subsidize college tuition for out-of-state students and their families.

4. Our major universities have four-year graduation rates of only 22%.

5. In our K-12 schools, 54 percent of our children are NOT proficient in reading and language arts. Sixty percent are NOT proficient in math. DPI has not yet released the recent science test scores, apparently they are even WORSE! But Wayne’s response is – North Dakota is going great!

6. The oil industry is in a shambles in the Bakken due in large part to low oil prices. Wayne has no plan to address this disaster.

7. Ag commodity prices are low. Wayne’s answer is a $300 million bail out from the Bank of North Dakota.

Meanwhile, Wayne Stenehjem is being protected by the establishment elite. They anointed him the key note speaker at most of our Republican district conventions. His presentations are uninformative and frankly boring. More to the point, Mr. Stenehjem believes informing the voters of his opinions, of his position on issues isn’t necessary. It appears he believes there is nothing we voters need to know in these regards. All he believes we need to know is he’s entitled to our vote. ( Sounds like Hillary).

Let’s take a closer look at our current Attorney General. He touts he’s been Attorney General longer than any other AG in North Dakota’s history. So what? The question is what has he accomplished?

We don’t need to know whose wife bakes the best cookies. We need to know who would make the best Governor for our great state.

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